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Thank You to Two IACLEA Staff Stars as They Move On

Deana and President-Elect Heath discussed the Sean Collier Act with a staff member in the Office of U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, during Capitol Hill Day 2020. In a quintessentially bittersweet moment, two of IACLEA’s most stalwart staff will leave their full-time roles this month. Their colleagues are happy to know they are assuming important new roles elsewhere. But staff and members they work with are sad to see them go.

It is hard to capture their enormous contributions to the Association over the past three-plus years, but here are some highlights.

Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration Deana Burke led the Association’s physical relocation from Connecticut to the Washington, DC, suburbs in the spring of 2017. This entailed transferring every operating system for the organization: financial, IT, compliance, personnel/HR, and membership data. She developed investment strategies for the Board’s consideration and advised on all fiscal matters.IACLEA Director of Meetings & Events Elizabeth Welsh, BOD member Pat Patton, and Deana Burke are all smiles during IACLEA’s 60th anniversary birthday celebration in Orlando, Florida.

“Deana has been an outstanding contributor to the IACLEA staff since day one,” said IACLEA Executive Director John Bernhards. “She has exemplary strategic skills and an amazing ability to deliver accurate, timely products. Every vendor she has vetted and hired has been beneficial. We will miss her terribly.”

Deana will continue to work part-time for IACLEA through the end of August, to support the transition of the association’s overall operations.

“Deana and Maddie have been integral members of the ‘new’ IACLEA,” said President-Elect Eric M. Heath, associate vice president for safety & security, the University of Chicago. “From the beginning, they have worked tirelessly to improve our Board processes, develop new staff, engage our membership, and ensure our long-term success as an autonomous Association.  We are truly grateful for their dedication to IACLEA, and they will most certainly be missed!”

IACLEA Director of Meetings & Events Elizabeth Welsh, Executive Assistant and Process Improvement Coordinator Maddie Gosser, and Deana Burke are all smiles during IACLEA’s 60th anniversary birthday celebration in Orlando, Florida. Executive Assistant and Process Improvement Coordinator Maddie Gosser was the first full-time employee that past Executive Director Sue Riseling hired in December 2017. Known for her continuous positive attitude and smile, while accomplishing any task requested, Gosser was instrumental in IACLEA’s transition.

“Maddie’s duties were elastic—one thing on paper and another in day-to-day operations,” said Bernhards. “She provided invaluable support to the Board of Directors, IACLEA committees, and, in particular, the Leadership Development Committee that recruits and develops our volunteer leaders. She also provided versatile support to the communications function, enlivening and expanding IACLEA’s social media presence, updating the website, and producing multi-media content. She worked closely with IACLEA’s Corporate Partners to ensure the relationship between partner and Association were valuable to all.”

IACLEA Canada Director Pat Patton, director, security and operations and facilities management, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, said, “Both Maddie and Deana have been with IACLEA during such a crucial time and helped immensely. Without them, I do not know where the Association would be. They are amazing women who will be greatly missed by all who have had the privilege to work with them. On behalf of the Canadian Region, thank you and very best wishes!!”

Maddie live Tweeted from the Combatting Human Trafficking Symposium, which she attended with Director of Training Josh Bronson (center) and Program Associate O’Neil Singleton.Chief Randy Burba, director of public safety at Chapman University, was IACLEA president when Burke and Gosser joined the team. “Maddie and Deana are at the core of the new IACLEA.  They were some of the first IACLEA employees that helped complete the transition to our own internal management.  It is their commitment to making it a reality that brought us across the finish line.  The IACLEA of today literally wouldn’t be possible without them.  They were a tremendous resource and crutch for me during my time as president.  I consider them lifelong friends; they are amazing women!”

Farewell and best wishes to two devoted staff members and friends of IACLEA.



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